Uniqlo operator aims to triple sales to 10 tril. yen over next decade

Fast Retailing Co., the operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, said Thursday it aims to more than triple its sales over the next decade to 10 trillion yen ($75 billion) after reporting record first-half earnings.

Tadashi Yanai, chief executive of Fast Retailing, said his company looks to boost its businesses in China, Southeast Asia, North America and Europe to lift its annual sales to the targeted level from the 2.68 trillion yen expected for the year through August 2023.

Uniqlo stores outside Japan saw a 27.3 percent jump in sales to 755.2 billion yen in the six months ended February thanks to rising awareness of its brand and solid demand for its thermal underwear.

The apparel chain also plans to shorten lead times to provide products that meet customer demand in a timely manner by strengthening its real time customer information data base.

"We have seen our sales triple every ten years" in the past stage of growth, Yanai said at the press conference, adding that sales are expected to rise to about 3 trillion yen in the next fiscal year, roughly three-fold the level seen in fiscal 2012.

In the first six months ended Feb. 28, net profit rose 4.5 percent to a record 153.39 billion yen and sales soared 20.4 percent to an all-time high of 1.47 trillion yen, driven by its overseas businesses.

Fast Retailing lifted its net profit projection for the year ending August to 240 billion yen from its earlier outlook of 230 billion yen. It revised up its full-year sales forecast to 2.68 trillion yen from 2.65 trillion yen.

In the retail sector, Seven & i Holdings Co., which runs a chain of convenience stores and supermarkets, became the first Japanese retailer to post more than 10 trillion yen in annual sales when it released its earnings for the year ended February.

© Kyodo News